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Namo Buddhaya

In the sutta of Talaputa Sutta: To Talaputa the Actor SN 42.2

The Buddha, to the demand of the actor presenting his wrong view wishing to know what Lord Buddha thought of, answers

Enough, headman, put that aside. Don't ask me that.

And then proceeds, after the third demand of the actor, on presenting why his beliefs were wrong views. I thus wonder, why wouldn't the Buddha wish to show the way to someone clearly mired in wrong view the right path to practice at his first request ? Why would he ask him not to ask him again ? Especially considering that the actor actually goes forth and takes refuge for life after his understanding of his wrong views.

With metta.

  • i read this as "a" buddha, which could be anything really. turning the lotus sutra and all that. silence can be helpful, though – sorta_buddhist Jul 12 at 20:23
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I thus wonder, why wouldn't the Buddha wish to show the way to someone clearly mired in wrong view the right path to practice at his first request ?

It's difficult to exactly know what was going on without being there ourselves to see the specific context and background situation while they were talking. One thing we do know is that the Buddha was not only a master of Dhamma knowledge but also a master of how to best convey the idea to his audience in the most effective way that which brings real radical transformation in the listener. Maybe this three-attempts approach had something to do with that, to rouse up the actor's curiosity, his persistence, his attention, etc. to a degree sufficient enough to receive and absorb the Teaching in the most effective and beneficial way.

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    +1 and You can support this answer with these phrases from MN 58: "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them." and "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings." – ruben2020 Jul 12 at 1:57
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    Sadhu! Sadhu! _/\_ – santa100 Jul 12 at 3:43
  • +1 from me as well. The fact is that I'm sure that the Buddha was approached by many who were not serious about their questions and were merely 'baiting' him for answers which they might ignore or make fun of. His approach here was perhaps a method to determine the Actor's sincerity before spending time in a response. As he taught, one does not waste efforts teaching those who are not truly open to instruction. – GVCOJims Jul 17 at 18:07

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